Auburn Track And Field Teams Send 26 To Mideast Regional Championships
May 28, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Auburn No. 10 men's and No. 17 women's track and field teams will have 26 athletes (16 men, 10 women) competing Friday and Saturday at the Mideast Regional Championships in Louisville, Ky.
At each of the four NCAA regional meets, the top five finishers from each event and the top three relays receive automatic berths to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Other at-large candidates will be added to the field later based on their season-best marks.
Auburn's teams have 13 marks that rank in the top five for individual events or top three for relay events at the Mideast Regional.
Freshman Marcus Rowland ranks first in the men's 100 meters and second in the 200 meters, sophomore Joanna Atkins ranks first in the women's 400 meters and senior Raevan Harris is tied for first in the women's high jump.
Other men in the top five include: sophomore Michael DeHaven (200 meters - 3rd); junior Eric Werskey (shot put - 3rd) and freshman Ryan Fleck (high jump - T4th). The men's 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays both rank third in the region.
Other women in the top five include: junior Danielle Gilchrist (400-meter hurdles - 2nd) and sophomore Cache Armbrister (200 meters - 2nd). The women's 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays also both rank second.
"It should be an exciting meet," said head coach Ralph Spry. "This is one of the larger groups we've ever brought to the regionals and it's a very solid group. Our number one priority is to get as many athletes as we can qualified for the NCAA Championships, and almost everybody we brought has a chance to do that. We just need to keep doing what we've been doing all year."
The Mideast Region includes all Division I schools from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. There are five men's and five women's teams in the region that are nationally ranked by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The men's field includes No. 6 Arkansas, No. 8 LSU, No. 10 Auburn, No. 20 Kentucky and No. 23 Mississippi State.
On the women's side, No. 3 LSU is the highest-ranked team in the region, followed by No. 7 Tennessee, No. 10 Michigan, No. 16 Arkansas and No. 17 Auburn. This marks just the seventh year that the regional format has been in place. Over the past six years, the Tigers have won 22 Mideast titles.
Last season, Cory Martin won two events for Auburn, breaking his own school record and NCAA leading mark in the hammer throw with a mark of 73.11 meters (239-10), and also winning the shot put with a throw of 20.05 meters (65-9.5). Auburn also won both men's hurdles events, as Ty Akins took the 110-meter hurdles crown in 13.44 seconds, while Reuben McCoy was the 400-meter hurdles champion in 50.12 seconds. Auburn's men finished in second place with 73 points and the women tied for 12th with 21.
Auburn student-athletes currently hold five Mideast Regional records. Martin's hammer throw mark from last year broke the regional record, while in 2007 Donald Thomas set the record in the high jump with a mark of 2.30 meters (7-6.5) and Kerron Stewart won the 200 meters in 22.41. Previously, Gabor Mate set the record in the men's discus of 65.05 meters (213-5) and Markita James is the record-holder in the women's 400-meter hurdles (54.54).
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